The first stribe to the finish line begins in SC
August 7, 2021
Upcoming Events
Aug 24, 2021
Equine Study Committee Mtg.
Ray Patch, Aiken, SC
12:45 pm

Oct 1-2, 2021
Best of the West
Horse Auction
Aiken Training Track

Nov. 6, 2021
King's Tree Trials
McCutchen Trng Ctr
King's Tree, SC

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Photo Credit:
Racing Across the Nation
Racing Across the Nation
Three graduates of South Carolina training centers crossed the finish line first in four Stakes races between June 22 and July 18.

Beren, who won the Gold Fever Stakes at Belmont Park on May 9 and the Gold Fever Stakes also at Belmont on May 30 came right back to capture the Crowd Pleaser Stakes at PARX Racing on June 22. Beren was laying third for the opening half-mile and then ran through the stretch like a 2-5 favorite is expected to. He was much the best winning by 9 ½ lengths while under wraps. Beren was developed for his racing career by Randy and Kayla Rentz. Beren has now won 5 of 7 starts this year.

Groovy Surprise, a graduate of Travis Durr’s Webb Carroll Training Center, proved best in the Smart N Sassy Handicap at Monmouth Park on June 27. Groovy Surprise set the pace before briefly losing the lead with a ¼ mile to go. She fought back in upper stretch and hit the wire ¾’s of a length in front. Groovy Surprise came back 11 days later to win the Jersey Girl Handicap over the same track. This time, the filly broke on top and never looked back. In front by 2 ½ lengths after the opening ½ mile, Groovy Surprise was challenged at the top of the stretch, battled to the wire and would not be denied winning by a head.

One more former Travis Durr pupil, A Life That’s Good ran against an overwhelming favorite in the Niagara Stakes at Fort Erie on June 28. A Life That’s Good would not settle for second place. Never far back, this filly launched her bid after straightening for home, caught the leader and drew clear to win by 1 ¾ lengths.
Kevin Kahkola Featured
Camden, SC -based trainer Kevin Kahkola was featured in the August edition of the Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred.
Getting his start as a hotwalker at Detroit Racecourse, Kevin joined Neil Howard’s stable at the Camden Training Center in 1993. Along with Horse of the Year Mineshaft and many other Graded Stakes winners, Howard trained Dogwood Stable’s 1990 Preakness-G1 winner Summer Squall. Kahkola had Mineshaft in his care At Belmont Park in 2003. He was an integral member of the Howard operation until 2008.
Kevin settled down in Camden. He was hired by Shadwell and worked solely for that operation for 12 years being the head of the yearling breaking program. When Shadwell closed its private operation, Kevin opened up his own stable. He continues to break yearlings for Shadwell, including this year’s Kentucky Oaks-G1 winner Malathaat.
Fasig-Tipton Yearling Sales Season Kicks Off

The yearling sales season kicked off on July 13 in Lexington, KY with the Fasig-Tipton Sale. South Carolina connections were active signing purchase receipts.

SCTOBA member Stuart Grant’s The Elkstone Group LLC purchased five fillies by Munnings, Justify, Tale of the Cat, Bernardini and Kantheros. SCTOBA member Donna Freyer guides Grant’s yearlings through the breaking process at the Camden Training Center, owned by Stuart Grant.

Pinhook specialist Cary Frommer signed the ticket for fillies by Bolt D’Oro and Tapwrit. She also went home with a colt by Sky Mesa.

Travis Durr, owner of the Webb Carroll Training Center, signed the ticket for an Army Mule colt.
Doug Payne, riding Vandiver, competes in the show jumping phase of eventing during the Tokyo Summer Olympics. Photo credit: AP/Carolyn Kaster
Congratulations Olympians
The United States eventing team finished sixth in the Summer Olympics in Tokyo. This was the United States’ best placing since 2004. 

The members of the team were Philip Dutton, Boyd Martin and Doug Payne, all have South Carolina ties. At one time or another, all have trained and competed in Aiken. Boyd Martin owned a home outside of Aiken.

Congratulations to the team!

The Best of the West Horses Sale in October
The equine community is familiar with Thoroughbred and Standardbred auctions throughout the year. An auction of a different sort will be held at the Aiken Training Center on October 1 & 2. This auction, the Best of the West Horses Sale will offer horses ready to bring enjoyment for their new owners. All are ready to ride.

Aiken Training Track President Bill Gutfarb says,”It will help increase awareness of the track. We’ve been trying to think of other ways to utilize this beautiful facility for horse related activities.” More info
Please Advertise!
Advertising plays an important role in the success of our training operations. The racing success of horses who got their foundation in South Carolina is, of course, our best advertisement. Let’s be sure people outside of our state are aware!

BloodHorse magazine has over the years featured training centers in our state. The Webb Carroll Training Center has an excellent ad in the August edition of BloofHorse.

Kip Elser’s Kirkwood Stable regularly has ads in the Saratoga Special, a popular publication available for free during the Saratoga race meet.

The South Carolina TOBA encourages our farms and training centers to take advantage of this valuable tool.
Equine Study Committee Meets in August
The Equine Study Committee, formed to enhance the equine industry in South Carolina, held its initial meeting in Columbia in June. The second meeting will take place in Aiken on August 24 at historic Rye Patch. The public is welcome to come and observe. The meeting will begin at 12:45.
SCTOBA Membership
With the Equine Study Committee actively making progress, now is the time to renew your membership and/or join the South Carolina Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association. Tell your friends we need support from across the equine industry in our state. Numbers count!

With our legislative leaders actually listening to us, we are excited about the future of our industry in South Carolina. 

The membership form can be found on our website –
Our mission is to promote the thoroughbred industry in our state and throughout the region. SCTOBA works to create awareness of the tremendous economic impact the thoroughbred industry has in South Carolina. Our organization is an advocate for the positive aspects of the thoroughbred business --breeding, training and racing. We also provide leadership and solutions to the challenges presented by the thoroughbred business.
Mr. Jack Sadler, President
 101 Ellenton Street SE
 Aiken, SC 29803